Issue 2: Confession Vs. Mask
A Publication of the USF MFA in Writing Program


Even if it was to be pure masquerade and not my life at all, still the time had come when I must make a start, must drag my heavy feet forward. —Yukio Mishima

(Interrogator)
  (Translator)
Confess!
  pleas—
condemn.
  redeem.
Admit, with
  Witch!
Judge.
  The true judge knows truth already.
a relative measure
  and easily
misjudged
—what veil
  visage
covers
  reveals.
It was best to be naked.
  with a death mask only.



If you talk about death, you save part of yourself.
  There are experiences and obsessions one cannot live with.
Salvation lies in confessing them.
  But at the same time, something of your real self dies:

the part of
  me that was not yet sober

I know nothing more disgusting than death,
  nothing more serious
and more sinister! How could some poets
  find beautiful the ultimate
negation which cannot even wear the mask of the grotesque?

  I am a twisted deformed freak that you don’t want to look at for long.
you admit death
  grows inside
you
—repentantly
  the adverb explains a doubt fairly well
then submit another; you looked and carried yourself a certain way...
  rigorously
interrogating
  the self,
resolutely
  confronting
those facts
  that matter

what I was now disgusted with
  was my true self




masca?
  the specter, witch. I wanted to catch
a witch
  so I could kill her.

a thick pure white blood.
  I wasn’t sure what color it was, so many had been woven in.
I imagined that was what witch blood would look like.
  my only recourse was to infer from theoretical rules what "a boy my age" would feel when he was all alone.
masque?
  unseizability and variable visibility that explicitly or implicitly link these malefactors to ghosts.
maskharah?
  buffoon!
or man in masquerade.
  or person. or any person.
persona?
  sounds through the actors' masks. many incarnations
of Rachel’s angst-filled monologue

  whole wood of the masks' mouths funneling whispers
of    no     or     ornament       players
  Although they spoke softly, and I wasn’t trying to listen
Of entering oneself.
  no noise from my voice




  By the time I got to the top I was screaming and chanting with them.
rite. observance.
  bonfire. dancing silhouettes
he'd like to project
  a ritual.

ritual
  is no different
from this

  fever
and submissions






[recorded and transcribed by Alex Davis]



Cioran, E. M. On the Heights of Despair. Trans. Ilinca Zarifopol-Johnston. University of Chicago Press, 1992.

Mishima, Yukio. Confessions of a Mask. Trans. Meredith Weatherby. New Directions, 1958.

Stephens, Walter. "Witches, Ghosts, and Masquerade in Early Demonology." Renaissance Society of America Annual Meeting. Cambridge, UK, 7-9 April 2005.

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